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The Guest List by Lucy Foley Read Online (FREE)

‘Freddy?’

‘Yes, Freddy. Or, as I think you used to call him: Fatfuck. He was the only boy awake in the dorm that night. He thought you might be coming for him, to take him for his Survival. So he hid, and pretended to be asleep, and didn’t say a word when you carried off Darcey. He’s never forgiven himself. I’ve tried to explain to him that he carries no guilt for it. It was the two of you who took him. But you most of all. At least your friend Johnno feels sorry for what he’s done.’

‘Aoife,’ I say, careful as I can, ‘I don’t understand. I don’t know … what are you talking about?’

‘Only – maybe I don’t need to ask all those questions now. I know the answer. When I came to find you earlier, in the cave, I got all my answers then. Of course, now I have other questions. Why you did it, for example. Stolen exam papers? Does that really seem like enough of a motive to take a boy’s life? Just because you’d been found out?’

‘I’m sorry, Aoife, but I really must be getting back to the marquee now.’

‘No,’ she says.

I laugh. ‘What do you mean, no?’ I use my most winning voice. ‘Look. You don’t have any proof of what you’re saying. Because there isn’t any. I’m terribly sorry for your loss. I don’t know what you’re thinking about doing. But whatever it is it wouldn’t do any good. It would be simply your word against mine. I think we know who would be believed. According to all records it was just a tragic accident.’

‘I thought you’d say that,’ she says. ‘I know you won’t admit it. I know that you don’t regret it. I overheard you in the cave, after all. You took everything from me that night. My mother as good as died that night too. We lost my father to a heart attack a few years later, certainly due to the stress of his grief.’

I’m not afraid of her, I remind myself. She has no hold over me. I have slightly bigger fish to fry here, things with real consequences. She’s just a bitter, confused woman—

And then I catch a glimpse of something. A gleam of metal, that is. In her other hand, the one not holding the torch.

 

Now
JOHNNO
The Best Man
I couldn’t save him.

I shouldn’t have pulled the knife out, I know that now. It would only have increased the bleeding, probably.

I wanted to make them understand, when they found me out in the dark. Femi, Angus, Duncan. But they wouldn’t listen. They had these burning torches that they held out like weapons, like I was a wild animal. They were shouting at me, screaming at me, to drop the knife, to just PUT IT DOWN and there was so much noise in my head. I couldn’t get the words out. So I couldn’t make them see that it wasn’t me. I couldn’t explain.